Monday, March 19, 2007

Let's all do the Mugabe Meltdown.

Socialist dictator Robert Mugabe has been leading Zimbabwe to disaster for several years now. Mugabe, said to be suffering mental problems due to gonorrhea, has taken his once prosperous nation into economic and political meltdown.

At this point police thugs have been attacking and beating various opponents of Mugabe. They are particularly keen to stop any opposition leaders from leaving Zimbabwe fearful that they will speak out about the Stalinist tactics being used by Mugabe.

Mugabe is clutching to power as dissent grows. But Mugabe also knows that because of the food shortages he has created that people rely on his regime to eat. Opposition areas are denied access to food while loyalists are rewarded. For decades Mugabe has used “foreign aid” to manipulate votes his direction. Meanwhile naive advocates of foreign aid, like Bono, continue to show pictures of starving children in order to campaign for further financial assistance to corrupt regimes.

And it should be noted that Thabo Mbeki, the South African president, continues to ignore the crisis on its borders. Mbeki advocates no response calling that “quiet diplomacy”. It is so quiet in fact that Mugabe takes it as support. So do I.

One can only hope that someone will assassinate Mugabe soon. He is one of those “leaders” who would deserve that fate. And he knows it. This is one reason he refuses to retire. He fears what will happen if he loses control of the army and police. But the army and police also fear what will happen. They participated in the genocide against the Matabele. And they fear retribution for their murderous campaigns.

But as the regime grows weaker and weaker, and Mugabe more and more insane, his fellow thugs in the ruling ZANU-PF party are worrying that when Mugabe goes so too will they. Under socialist “land redistribution” programs the ruling elite have been given vast tracts of land for luxury villas. They have multiple homes and weekend houses, like Mugabe himself. And they don’t wish to give up their luxurious lifestyle.

So another danger to Mugabe is that his own fellow conspirators will want to get rid of him in order to prevent a coup by opponents of the the ZANU-PF “one party” regime. They are starting to wonder if the best way to secure their own asses is to remove the big ass at the top. Vice President Joyce Mujuru and her husband, Solomon, both did very well under socialism -- as party leaders always do. The Mujuru’s are now some of the wealthiest people in Zimbabwe and Solomon Mujuru publicly said: “I didn’t fight the liberation war to end up a poor man.” The Mujurus have been allegedly having meetings with ambassadors in private causing Mugabe to fear a possible coup.

On the other side the leader of the pro-Mugabe forces is Emmerson Mnangagwa, a minister in the government. And Mnangagwa has reason to be pro-Mugabe. He was one of the leaders of the genocide against the Matabele. He has the support of South Africa’s Mbeki, which ought to tell you something about Mbeki the African National Congress. But the top military leaders today seem to be behind Mujuru.

Government printing presses are still working over time printing more and more currency as the government uses inflation to try to support itself. Inflation has been running at over 1000% per year. When I was last in Zimbabwe the US dollar was exchanged for about 45 Zim dollars. But no one wanted Zim dollars, they much preferred the South African rand or dollars or pounds.

In order to disguise the problem the government recalled the currency for replacement exchanging the old notes for newer notes which had a few zeros lopped off. What was previously worth 250,000 dollars was revalued at 250 dollars. Mugabe says this shows the currency is stable. So now the official exchange rate is 250 to 1. The unofficial rate is 11,000 to 1 meaning in old terms one US dollar is worth 11,000,000 Zim dollars. Just this week a bottle of milk which cost Zim$11,000 went to Zim$17,000.

One reason for the government doing this is that it is able to fund itself. International aid agencies stupidly continue to pour money into the country but are required to purchase goods at the official exchange rate. So every US dollar they bring in nets them Zim$250. The government however gets a US dollar that is worth Zim$11,000. So the profit of Zim$10,750 goes to the regime.

Government is so destructive in Zimbabwe that even the gold industry is on the verge of bankruptcy. Gold must be sold to the government at Zim$16,000 per gram. That would be $64 at the official exchange rate but in reality that is $2. And the price is gold is fixed while inflation is running about 100 percent per month. Gold producers are unable to continue operating. Gary Perotti of FalGold says: “No business can sustain an environment where rapidly increasing costs are matched against fixed revenue.” He says, “the whole gold mining industry in Zimbabwe, facing imminent collapse.” All do to stupid government policies. But are they stupid? Again the Zimbabwean government takes the gold and sells it at the world market price while paying producers a fraction of the cost.

The net result is that millions of Zimbabweans are operating illegally. Gold producers are secretly trying to stay afloat by selling gold illegally on the black market. They “sell a minimum to the government and... flog the bulk of his gold to traders who pay... about two-thirds” or the actual value.

There is no end to the destruction that government can impose on it’s own people.

Photo: That is Mugabe to the left, literally and symbolically, of his good friend Fidel Castro.

Labels: , , ,